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Terrafugia Completes Stage 1 Flight Tests

Transition "flying car" made 28 flights

Transition test flight with New York's Lake Champlain as a backdrop.

The Transition flies in formation with chase plane.

June 3, 2009 — The Terrafugia Transition reached a significant milestone recently when its proof-of-concept (POC) roadable aircraft completed stage 1 flight-testing. The “flying car” made its maiden flight on March 27 at Plattsburgh, New York and flew there 27 more times to complete its POC testing regimen.

The POC will continue further tests on the ground at Plattsburg Airport while the beta prototype is developed, says company spokesperson Richard Gersh.

“It (the POC) will be on static display at Oshkosh this year,” Gersh said, noting that no flight demos would be made. “The decision was made that we had reached all our goals for the proof of concept. Road testing will continue, but only within the airport environment.

“Engineers are already working on the beta prototype design based on what was learned from the proof of concept prototype.”

The company foresees a four-stage development process to bring the vehicle into production aiming for first deliveries in 2011.

Stage 1 test flights explored handling, performance, and takeoffs and landings. Stability and stall were also evaluated. The goals of demonstrating vehicle safety in the air and identifying modifications needed for the beta prototype were accomplished, the company said.

Test pilot Colonel (Ret.) Phil Meteer had favorable remarks about the stage 1 flights. “I would like to keep flying this proof-of-concept vehicle, but it makes sense to move on to the beta prototype,” he said.

The Transition is a two-place, light-sport aircraft designed to take off and land at local airports and drive on any road. It transforms from an airplane to a car in less than 30 seconds with its folding wings. It will cruise at 115 mph with a range of up to 450 miles; drive at highway speeds on the road via front-wheel drive; and fit in a standard household garage. It’s powered by a 100-hp Rotax 912S engine and runs on autofuel.

The company is accepting $10,000 deposits on an anticipated purchase price of $194,000. For more information, visit www.terrafugia.com.

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